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Thread: Saltiest foods in America

  1. #1
    fgg
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    Default Saltiest foods in America

    The Saltiest Foods in America, 2009


    By David Zinczenko, with Matt Goulding - Posted on Fri, May 08, 2009, 11:23 am PDT


    Eat This, Not That
    by David Zinczenko, with Matt Goulding a Yahoo! Health Expert for Nutrition


    Few things in world history have done as much good, and caused as much damage, as the simple mineral salt.

    On the upside, salt made modern civilization possible, allowing ancient man to preserve food so that he could concentrate on more important things, like inventing astrology. On the downside, when you eat out at most restaurants these days, you’re almost certain to take in more than your recommended daily intake for sodium that day—about 2,300 milligrams of sodium, max. (Guess how much that is? One teaspoon.) But salt is so cheap and, let’s face it, makes so many foods taste delicious, that it’s in nearly everything. In fact, the average American takes in 3,300 milligrams of sodium every single day! (And some a multiple of that.)

    And it’s not because of what comes out of our salt shakers. According to Monell Chemical Senses Center researchers, 77 percent of that sodium intake comes from processed-food purveyors and restaurants. Their motivation: Pile on the salt so we don't miss natural flavors and fresh ingredients. Why is that a problem? Because with ever-expanding portion sizes, super-salty foods are displacing fresh fruits and vegetables, which are rich in potassium. And a 1:2 ratio of dietary salt to potassium is critical for your health. Studies show that a high-sodium, low-potassium diet is linked to a host of maladies, including high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, and exercise-induced asthma.

    To protect your heart, your bones, your muscles, and your tastebuds, the authors of the upcoming book Eat This, Not That: The Best & Worst Foods in America! scoured takeout menus and supermarket shelves to expose some of the saltiest foods in America. No need to take the information with a grain of salt. These dishes provide plenty.

    SALTIEST “HEALTHY” MEAL
    Olive Garden Grilled Shrimp Caprese
    3,490 mg sodium
    900 calories
    41 g fat (17 g saturated)
    82 g carbs

    Sodium Equivalent: 23 individual canisters of Pringles Originals!

    Grilled shrimp on its own makes for one of the healthiest sources of protein on the planet, but when altered by the imaginations of the corporate cooks at Olive Garden, the result is considerably bleaker. The melted mozzarella and the garlic butter sauce are to blame for the high sodium numbers. Stick with the sea, but choose a grilled salmon, instead of a platter that’s soaked in salty sauce.

    Eat This Instead!
    Herb Grilled Salmon
    760 mg sodium
    510 calories
    26 g fat (6 g saturated)
    5 g carbs

    SALTIEST SEAFOOD DISH
    Red Lobster Admiral’s Feast
    4,662 mg sodium
    1,506 calories
    93 g fat (9 g saturated)

    Sodium Equivalent: 7 medium orders of Burger King Onion Rings!

    The Admiral is piloting a sinking ship if this is the vessel he’s steering. It’s a sea of dreaded beige, with four different varieties of deep-fried seafood filling out the plate. Add on the Caesar and the fries that come with the meal, and you’re looking at nearly 6,000 milligrams of sodium before you. Red Lobster is filled with low-calorie options, but sodium’s definitely an enduring issue here, so choose wisely. Grilled fish and vegetables is a great place to start. (Think you can tell a nutritious option from a dietary disaster?

    Eat This Instead!
    Wood Grilled Sole with Fresh Asparagus
    590 mg sodium
    305 calories
    7.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated)

    SALTIEST BREAKFAST
    Arby’s Sausage Gravy Biscuit
    4,700 mg sodium
    1,040 calories
    60 g fat (22 g saturated, 2 g trans)

    Sodium Equivalent: 13 large orders of McDonald’s french fries!

    This is absolutely one of the worst ways you could start your day, breakfast-wise. (Find eight more atrocious options on this list of the worst breakfasts in America.) Make a date with this biscuit, and you’ll have consumed two full day’s worth of sodium before the noon hour. The key to maintaining a reasonable blood pressure for most folks is to take in at least the equivalent amount of sodium and potassium throughout your day. (A 1:2 ratio is seen as ideal.) The problem with this biscuit is that you’re consuming a heart-stopping level of sodium and almost no potassium. Throw in the abundance of calories and trans fat, and you may have been better off sleeping in.

    Eat This Instead!
    Bacon and Egg Croissant
    651 mg sodium
    337 calories
    22 g fat (10 g saturated)

    SALTIEST ENTRÉE
    Chili’s Buffalo Chicken Fajitas with condiments and 4 flour tortillas
    6,846 mg sodium
    1,782 calories
    108 g fat (29 g saturated)
    136 g carbs

    Sodium Equivalent: 68 cups of Pop Secret Homestyle Premium Popcorn!

    After Chinese food, Tex-Mex may be the saltiest cuisine on the planet, dedicated as it is to shredded cheese, refried beans, and massive tortillas. As the skillet of sizzling vegetables and chicken arrive at your table, fajitas may seem like a reasonable order, but the numbers tell an entirely different story. Even if you split this dish four ways, you’d still consume almost your entire day’s allotment of sodium in one sitting. Save it all for yourself, though, and you’ve got a much bigger problem. Your best bet at Chili’s, from both a caloric and a sodium standpoint, is to avoid the Tex-Mex treatment and opt for more basic fare, like their Classic Sirloin.

    Eat This Instead!
    Chili’s Classic Sirloin
    700 mg sodium
    540 calories
    43 g fat (15 g saturated)
    1 g carbs

    THE SALTIEST FOOD IN AMERICA
    P.F. Chang’s Hot and Sour Soup Bowl
    6,878 mg sodium
    336 calories
    12 g fat (2 g saturated)

    Sodium Equivalent: 208 saltine crackers

    P.F. Chang's has published their nutrition facts for years without providing sodium counts for basic menu items, which was cause for concern and—as it turns out—justified suspicion. Chinese food tends to run high on the sodium spectrum because of its reliance on viscous stir-fry sauces and salt-laden condiments like soy sauce. But this an unfathomable amount of salt to pack into one 336-calorie bowl of soup. The sad truth is that unless you stick to vegetable sides and small servings of a select few entrees (Crispy Honey Chicken, Orange Peel Beef, Lemon Scallops), you’re all but guaranteed to absorb one or more day’s worth of sodium in a single sitting at P.F. Chang’s.

    Eat This Instead!
    Large Sichuan-Style Asparagus
    263 mg sodium
    213 calories
    11 g fat (2 g saturated)

  2. #2
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    holy fucking shit, all from chains i've never heard of up here in Canadia

    I think this shit would be illegal
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    That's weird, they are all in canada too, except maybe PF Chang's.

    You're probably like the typical NY'ers. We have local spots, few chains. They tend to be mostly in suburban areas.
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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    Holy Crap.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    i've never eaten at any of these chains. and i lived in canada for a long time too, i don't remember seeing any of these chains there. witchcurl is probably right - they're probably out in the 'burbs.
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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    I don't go to any of these places either, maybe Chili's once or twice a year but its for booze, not food. haha

    Anyway, I saw this on The Today Show and was mortified. It's astounding to me that in one decent sized meal you can consume 3 DAYS worth of sodium intake. That's WRONG on many many levels.

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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    Imagine the water retention. I never realized how much sodium was in everything. Kind of makes you really want to eat clean all the time... jeez.

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Yea, that Chili's thing is the WORST thing on the planet for you. And they aren't even incorporating in the FRIES they give you too that are salted to hell. INSANE.

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    I will not give up Hot and Sour soup. NEVER!
    By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity -- another man's I mean. -Mark Twain

  10. #10
    fgg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Lane View Post
    Imagine the water retention.
    i put extra salt on everything so this must be my problem.

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